Sendy, a logistics start-up that offers an on-demand delivery service, is expanding to West Africa after receiving a $20 million round at the end of February.
This funding round was led by Atlantica Ventures which was joined by Toyota Tsusho Corporation. The ‘uber-style’ platform connects users to drivers and vehicles of all types for the delivery of a variety of goods. It currently operates in Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania, with 5 000 vehicles and a membership of over 30 000 users. It also offers services for freight delivery, e-commerce and enterprise with a client list including huge brands such as Uniliver and DHL. It is reported to have moved goods worth over 3 billion across East Africa to date.
Logistics services in Africa are costlier than in most parts of the world, due to the remoteness of the region. The technology offered by the App, has managed to lower the costs of transportation and delivery, which in turn has enabled other sectors such as e-commerce to thrive. In addition to this, Sendys technology has drastically shortened lead time for companies that use them as their primary logistics service.
The expansion to West Africa, will be met with fierce competition as companies such as Kobo360 dominate the region. The start-up offering a similar service in 2019 managed to secure a $30 million funding round led by Goldman Sachs. The funds have so far been used to continue to develop the digital logistics space and to expand into other parts of Africa.
Sendys CEO, Mesh Alloy, however, is not concerned about the competition they face as he believes that their “customer service is superior and that’s driven by [our] technology… I think we’re miles ahead of our competition today when it comes to tech”.
It will be interesting to see how the App will perform in its new market. Nonetheless, the competition will serve the growth of the industry and will promote constant innovation to improve the logistics landscape in Africa.